Defending America is the most important duty of the federal government. Protecting our nation starts with providing American troops with the resources they need. The work of those in uniform is dangerous and difficult – requiring personal commitment and sacrifice as well as the patience and support of their families.
The United States cannot stay in Iraq and Afghanistan forever, yet I agree with American military leaders that an arbitrary pull-out would have serious consequences for our security. I support efforts to measure progress and hold them more accountable for their own security. And, I oppose plans that withhold critical military personnel, fail to provide funds for American troops and arbitrarily pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan with no plan to fight terrorists or protect America.
I support funding needed to provide regular pay increases, quality health care and equipment for those in uniform. I will never vote to deny our troops in harm’s way the full support they need to protect themselves and America.
I voted to improve the GI Bill and create the Wounded Warriors program. I joined with Congressman Earl Pomeroy, a Democrat from North Dakota, to write a law protecting the survivor benefits of soldiers killed in action and wrote a provision making legal immigrants serving in the military eligible for U.S. citizenship after one year in uniform if all other conditions are met.